Dogs at the Table

...or to put it another way, "Perish, priest!"

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Synod, the first day.

There really was a sense of anticipation as delegates gathered, connected and reconnected with friends and new friends from around the church. There was an orientation session, tours of the University Campus, the first of many shared meals, a host of volunteers helping to make the transition into a conference as easy as possible, and, just maybe, a hint of the Holy Spirit.

Of course being local didn't make coming to St. Mary's Campus all that special -- we're in dormitory rooms with four (or more) people sharing one toilet and shower (in the same single bathroom) which will make for some interesting lineups in the morning. There are great long walks around to get to the meeting space, and quite a good cafeteria service.

The highlight of the day for me was the opening liturgy tonight. If you've read some of my other posts, you'll know that I'm fussy about liturgy -- it is the primary expression of the corporate life of the church -- and the barometer of my engagement with the people with whom I'm present.

It was, quite simply, stunning. Paul Halley, one of the foremost church musicians in North America, now lives in Halifax. He brought his parish choir who were brilliant -- the Howell's Te Deum at the beginning of the service and his own arrangement of Rise up, my fair one were transcendent. The hymn playing and visual symbolism of the sails made me choke up several times. The sermon by Bishop Tamayo (Uruguay/Cuba) was an extended riff on the metaphor of the vineyard, gently introducing the notion that from time-to-time painful pruning may be part of what is expected as a follower of Christ. One of the readings was in French, and the Prayers of the Faithful were delivered in six or seven different languages. The experience was profoundly moving, and even at my most cynical I am willing to concede that it is liturgies like this that open my heart and make me think that all persons can be welcomed here.

The social followed -- de rigeur for the Anglican church. There is an old adage: lex orandi, lex credendi -- as we pray, so we believe -- to which I would add: lex bibendi -- so we drink.

Today's weigh-in: ? There are no scales but justice at General Synod.


  • At 8:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Not true about the scale! I happen to know there is one right outside the door to plenary. : )


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